Saint Bruce

Saint Bruce
james ellsworth

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audio of Bruce Taylor's poem, Saint Bruce

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Saint Bruce

             As Stephen who looked to heaven and prayed
             into thy mercy all innocents accept,
             and as James, the Reconciler,


of all who are at variance and enmity,
live and reign forever in heaven with thee,
Oh Lord of the vagrant, out of luck and time,
accept into thy glorious host
the victim of victims, the latest divine —

patron of the middle-aged, mediocre
and common, eventual protector
of procrastinators and the just obtuse —
Lord, we offer for your consecration
the sometimes, somewhat holy, St. Bruce

who went almost daily his daily rounds
doing little good he knew but less harm
or at least he often wanted to believe
as much as one does and can amidst
your basically unverifiable verities.

Suffering? I’ll tell you he suffered,
the usual debts, second-guesses, rebuffs,
doubts and regrets, your ordinary
and customary slings and arrows,
the regularly scheduled irregularities.

He survived though, and that any of us do,
to struggle love and try — or bother to —
seems enough for a saint or a sinner,
your everyday angels’ obvious miracle,
your usual loser as daily bread winner.

So cut him some slack, Lord, give him a break,
it's the right thing to do for Jesus' Sake
who lived not "long" as the old curse goes
but lived, you ask us to believe,  at all
a life like this, then died, and then arose.